Internet service provider HKNet has joined electronic payment vendor CyberCash to incorporate the US giant's software into HKNet's CD version of Internet starter kit-i-Opener that is to be launched at Computer 97. The CyberCash Wallet application is the consumer interface to the Secure Internet Payment Service which allows users to access a full range of secure, on-line payment methods including by credit card, Cybercoin, and Cybercheque. It is linked to more than 80 per cent of banks in the United States, with more than 500,000 wallet users worldwide. In Hong Kong, however, no territory banks have yet linked to the system, meaning users will be able to use only credit card payment. 'At least users can get a feeling of the type of services they can get from electronic commerce and they can become familiar with the concept and the technology,' Charles Mok, general manager of HKNet said. He said the HKNet and CyberCash were working with banks and financial institutions to build future links. 'We are exploring the best strategy to promote electronic commerce and penetrate the region.' Mr Mok said, adding that HKNet's relationship was limited only to distribution. Banks that pioneer the system will benefit from an existing customer base and gain a marketing edge in promoting electronic commerce both to end users and merchants. In the meantime, HKNet subscribers can enjoy the convenience of using credit cards to purchase over the Internet from merchants worldwide. Amounts will be debited automatically from their credit card accounts without having to key each time their credit card number. Mr Mok said transactions were based on the Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) standard which meant credit card numbers did not go to the merchants but directly to the bank which gave the authorisation. The (SET) standard recently was developed by a consortium lead by Visa and MasterCard. It has been designed to address concerns over security of transactions on the Internet. Mr Mok said HKNet also was working with territory merchants to provide global, electronic shopping for anything from flowers to books and watches. HKNet opted for CyberCash over other systems such as DigiCash because it believed in integration in future and CyberCash was a supporter of the SET standard.